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Seeing, dreaming and doing

Parks and Wildlife Service Field officer Lauren Gilmour and Farrah Henderson wear protective gear in the field.

A workshop for young women inspired a Parks and Wildlife Service work experience placement.

Inspired by a workshop held at Smithton High School last year, student Farrah Henderson has completed a week of work experience at the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) Stanley Field Centre.

The See It. Dream It. Do It. workshop demonstrated that women can, and do, excel in operational occupations.

Eight inspiring guest presenters from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE) and the private sector talked to female students about what their jobs involved, their career paths, and overcoming barriers.

When the time came to nominate a location for her Grade 10 work placement, Farrah knew exactly which ‘office’ she wanted.

Under the wing of PWS field officer Lauren Gilmour, Farrah was treated to an exciting and varied week.

She attended a cetacean necropsy and was involved in brush cutting on The Nut, sign installation and construction, and vegetation clearing in the Tarkine.

Farrah learned to handle roadside trimming equipment as part of her work experience

Lauren said Farrah was enthusiastic and active.

“She was quite informed on conservation issues and land management tasks and strategies, and asked lots of questions about different roles in the department and different pathways to employment with parks,” Lauren said.

“It was so much fun to work with Farrah and we talked about many interesting topics, from the War on Waste documentary, to pest and weed management, and supporting refugees and asylum seekers to develop connections with our national parks. I even learned a few things from her.”

The See It. Dream It. Do It. project aims to empower young women to seek employment in operational fields, and to overcome perceived and actual barriers they may encounter on their career path.

“As the first tangible outcome of the initiative, Farrah’s work placement is an exciting progression and provides an opportunity to experience first-hand what it’s like to work in the field.

It also gave a young woman an opportunity to picture herself in the PWS uniform in the not-too-distant future.

Field staff at the PWS Stanley/Leven Field Centre facilitated a valuable week for Farrah.